Enterprise Software Licensing from a Legal Perspective

September 26, 2006

Stephen Gillespie, a corporate partner in the intellectual property of Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in a Findlaw article entitled, "Enterprise Software Licensing from a Legal Perspective."

Over the past several years, the software industry has witnessed a "bureaucratization of enterprise procurement," according Gillespie, who represents technology companies. The article details recent trends in that favor enterprises and burden vendors in software licensing and tips for vendors to streamline the negotiation process.

Some of the suggestions Gillespie offers for vendors include:
1. Building strong allies within the enterprise organization and ensuring that a vendors' internal advocates are involved in procurement;
2. Linking price to terms by using a written term sheet that establishes price in relation to key terms such as warranty, publicity or caps on liability.
3. Trading value for value; and
4. Being able to walk away from negotiations when pressed with unfavorable terms.

Read the complete article by Andrew Zangrilli with Findlaw.